Sunday, November 16, 2014

Harry Potter Themed Gender Reveal

We found out we are having a boy last weekend at an epic Harry Potter Themed gender reveal party we threw.

I had so much fun planning the party and it worked great to distract me from me impatience of finding out the sex of Baby Otley #2. Dylan and my family thought I was a little nuts for being so into it...

Unfortately I did not take as many pictures as I would have liked and they are just with my iPhone. At least it will give you an idea of the party and hopefully help share some ideas with other nerds out there.

To me, the event was an excuse to throw a Harry Potter party and it also just happened to be my gender reveal. I thought I had a pretty good balance of both aspects if you keep my order of priorities in mind.

(The majority of my ideas came through Pinterest and google, nothing specific so I am not citing sources)

For decorations, people entered the party by walking through the brick wall that is Platform 9 3/4. To make this I stamped an old sponge in watery red paint on a twin sheet. (Only $5.50 for the sheet and paint at Walmart!)

We of course had floating candles. I knew I wanted to do this a couple weeks ago so I bought a pack of LED candles for our Halloween pumpkins and the party. I then using fishing string, tape and pushpins to hang up to the ceiling. The only pictures I took were when Vander was checking them out. He literally went "WOAH!" at every single candle, twice. It was adorable.

I wrote "The Chamber of Secrets has been opened. Enemies of the heir beware" on the bathroom mirrors in red marker.

I had "fleeing spiders" (aka repurposed Halloween decorations) who were fleeing from the basilisk.

At a gender reveal you generally do some form of "voting" for which gender you want or think the baby is. You can have everyone come wearing pink or blue or they can be given a blue or pink pin to wear. Thursday before the party I came up with the genius idea to do scarves for voting. I went to the fabric store and bought red and silver houndstooth micro fleece fabric and blue and gold of the same (the closet colors and designs to Harry Potter I could find!). I then cut it all up into scarves for everyone to wear. I out the baskets of each color under a sign about how to vote.

The scarves were also next to my "Old Wives Tales" of what signs and symptoms generally are associated with which gender during pregnancy. I ended up being split down the middle so you can see how reliable those old wives tales are!

I also had a place to put in name suggestions. It was actually pretty fun since I read them all out loud toward the end of the party and we actually did put a couple on our list.

Since I wanted to make it worth everyone's while to come over to our house to simply find out the gender of our next baby, I decided to put together a Harry Potter type feast. Dylan worked like a happy house elf putting it all together. Our menu included butternut squash soup, London broil, roasted potatoes and vegetables, witch hat crescent rolls, and onion tarts. Beverage options were adult pumpkin juice (pumpkin beer), alcoholic or nonalcoholic butter beer or wine (a red or white "Middle Sister" since this is intended to be our middle child or "Spellbinder" to match the magic theme). Everyone seemed to really enjoy it all! We set up three long tables since that felt the most like the Great Hall and was the only practical way to fit that many people!

After dinner came the cake and cupcakes, which was how we all found out the gender! My friend Kelly asked if she could bake for us and we passed her the sealed envelope the day of our appointment so she could make our cakes. The cake was food coloring in the batter with fondant so you couldn't peek and the cupcakes had a filling of the appropriate color. We passed out cupcakes and told everyone they had to wait for us to cut the cake.

After cake we played quidditch beer pong! It follows the same basic rules as beer pong except also has quidditch hoops in the middle that give you double cups but you are allowed to block a ball (quaffel) thrown through a hoop. Also, you have to use a special snitch ball for the victory cup.
The Snitch
Team Hufflepuff
Team Ravenclaw
Team Slytherin
The whole event was a success! We did have some non-Harry Potter fans, but they still had fun. A good group of us were guessing the scenes from the music soundtracks I had playing... I think everyone enjoyed being part of such a fun moment of ours.

I definitely hope Vander or any or all of my kids are into Harry Potter so I can throw some awesome Harry Potter birthday parties in the future. There are a lot more ideas out there I didn't do!

However, it was really hard for me to wait three days for the gender. And given that we are currently only planning one more kid, I don't foresee wanting to wait to find out the gender or being willing to find out in front of a bunch of other people! We will see when the time comes.

So glad I had the party this time and I thought the theme was excellent!

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